Uttara Coorlawala

Uttara Coorlawala

United States US United States US


Have been teaching in the liberal arts dance program at  Barnard College/Columbia University, and  at the Alvin Ailey (Professional Division) BFA Program with Fordham University.  Serves as Co-Curator of the Erasing Borders Dance Festival, New York city, which is now entering its 7th season. 

Publications include several articles in scholarly journals, as Dance Research Journal, Dance Chronicle,  Discourses in Dance Vol 5:1 Studies in South Asian Film & Media Vol 4:2, etc:  dance anthologies as Traversing Traditions, (Routledge) Dance Matters (Routledge)  Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World,  New Directions In Indian Dance (Marg)   etc. 

Recent activities have involved presentations as Keynote Speaker at symposium “Sensing South Asia” at The University of Hawai’i at Manoa, a featured interview on Doordarshan, (national television) India, and as panelist on Theory and Dance for the Kennedy Center Utsav 2013. Also served as Dance Studies consultant at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) New Delhi, Guest artist at the University of Denton, Texas.

Prior teaching experience includes modern dance (Graham, Cunningham & Horton based)  hatha yoga technique and dance studies courses at Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus BFA program, Princeton University, The Spence School, and Artist-in Residency programs in New York city.  

Choreography & Perfomance:

In 2011  was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. As a dancer-choreographer Coorlawala initiated in India what has since become a movement towards intercultural innovation. Choreography was based on modern dance, (Graham-based & Cunningham techniques) Bharata Natyam and yoga (Siddha Yoga and Iyengar). Her first solo dance tours were sponsored by the United States Information Service introducing American modern dance to audiences across India.  Subsequently danced over several solo tours in India, Europe and East Europe, Japan and the USA. She was listed as an empanelled artist with the I.C.C.R. (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) NYFA –The New York Foundations for the Arts, and various Arts-In-Education programs.   Before initiating her solo program Uttara danced in the New York based dance companies in works by Pearl Lang, Matteo Vittucci, Ballet Hispanico, Sun Ock Lee, Kei Takei’s Moving Earth, Daniel Maloney, Yvonne Rainer, Yoshiko Chumo etc.